Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted Wednesday that a two-state solution is the foundation for Palestinian-Israeli conflict settlement.

President Abbas was speaking in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street in London, where both leaders held talks.

“We strongly believe in just and lasting peace in the Middle East, a peace that is based on a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions 242 and 338 as well as the Oslo accords of 1993”, President Abbas told reporters.

The president affirmed the Palestinian factions’ agreement to proceed with unity government talks on the basis of the letter of authorization he has handed over to his Prime Minister designate Ismail Haniya. The agreement includes focusing on the higher interests of the Palestinian people and committing to international and Arab legitimacy resolutions signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

From his part, Prime Minister Blair said he is willing to visit the Middle East in a bid to promote a Palestinian-Israeli peace, believing there is a real chance to achieve progress as parties concerned are committed to peace.

“off course I support the idea of a national unity government, but the question is on what basis such a government would be formed and I do hope it would hold something for the promotion of a two-state solution”, Blair pointed out.

In this respect, the British PM maintained that such a solution means that there should be renunciation of violence, for violence is a stumbling block in the path of peace.

“Therefore, Hamas should take such a decision”, Blair said.

Concurrently, the Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russia) issued a statement right after their meeting in Berlin Wednesday, reiterating the need for the Palestinian National Authority to commit to it’s three demands; recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past signed agreements.

“We have said, all of us, that we will await the formation of the new Palestinian government before making any decisions about what to do, because we don’t want to make premature decisions”, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice told her Quartet’s counterparts.

The Hamas-led government, suffering from a one-year long international boycott, resigned last week and proceeded talks with other Palestinian factions for a coalition government in light of the Makkah deal between Hamas and Fatah two weeks ago.

Despite a likely Palestinian unity government, Hamas did not clearly commit itself to the Quartet’s conditions for ending the boycott, but said it would respect previous Palestinian obligations.